Wrasslin’ Back in the Day: June 1984

WWF
The Rock n’ Wrestling angle continued moving along as David Wolf brought Cyndi Lauper to the WWF to counter Capt. Lou Albano’s claims that he was the reason Lauper was a star. Lauper ended up attacking both Roddy Piper and Lou with her purse.

Piper was shown soon after invading Lauper’s recording studio where a challenge was set up for Lauper and Lou to each find a lady wrestler to challenge the other’s. A week later Captain Lou introduced WWF Woman’s champ the Fabulous Moolah as his new partner in crime. This led to Cyndi Lauper throwing her support behind Wendi Richter.

Piper’s coconut attack on Jimmy Snuka was shown to a national audience for the first time since they taped it several months earlier.

World Champ Hulk Hogan spent the start of the month in Japan where he did a count-out loss to Antonio Inoki in a match to determine the IWGP champion. Elsewhere on the tour, Hogan teamed with WWF tag team champions Dick Murdoch and Adrian Adonis, among others.

When he returned to the states Hogan found himself in title matches with Paul Orndorff, David Schultz, Greg Valentine and Big John Studd. Hogan also taped a TV angle where Mr. Fuji and George Steele attacked him.

Buzz Sawyer was fired after being in the WWF for a mere six weeks. His demons continue to haunt him.

Several feuds carried over from previous months including Tito Santana vs. Greg Valentine, Rocky Johnson vs. Roddy Piper and Sgt. Slaughter vs. the Iron Sheik.

Mad Dog Vachon jumped from the AWA, which is a fairly big jump considering Vachon had been an AWA staple for decades and could still be counted on to help draw fans. He would mostly work prelims in the WWF. Vince McMahon played Vachon’s arrival up big during an episode of Tuesday Night Titans, showing his introduction at a Minneapolis house show and showcasing the big ovation he received. On the same episode, Vince had Hulk Hogan and Mean Gene talk about how the AWA’s TV producer was also now in the WWF’s fold. Never let it be said that Vince didn’t rub salt into Verne Gagne’s wounds.

Over 9,000 fans came to Philly to see Hogan battle the Iron Sheik, Santana defend his IC title against David Schultz and Paul Orndorff best Sgt. Slaughter via count-out.
11,000 fans attended a Los Angeles event which was headlined by Hogan vs. Orndorff, with Sarge facing the Sheik in the top match of the under card. A second L.A. card also drew 11,000 for a card with Hogan defending against Orndorff, Sheik butting heads with Slaughter, along with Dick Murdoch, Adrian Adonis, Jesse Ventura, Santana, Studd and others in action.

26,000 fans packed into MSG to see Slaughter face the Sheik in a “Boot camp” match, other action saw Andre the Giant pin David Schultz, Greg Valentine bested Santana via count-out, The Wild Samoans fought Dick Murdoch and Adrian Adonis to a double-DQ, plus Jesse Ventura, Paul Orndorff, Bob Orton Jr. and Mad Dog Vachon were all in action.

10,000 fans poured into Pittsburgh to see Slaughter battle Sheik, Rocky Johnson clash with Roddy Piper, Andre tackle Fuji and Tiger Chung Lee and Santana defend his title against Bob Orton Jr.

JCP actually ran some weak house shows in New Jersey, trying to capitalize on their success with the “Night of Champions” in the Meadowlands in May. The cards this month were so poor though, I really don’t even understand the point of running them:

Totown, New Jersey saw Carlos Colon best TV champ Tully Blanchard in the MAIN EVENT, Wahoo McDaniel and Pez Whatley beat Stan Hansen and Les Thornton via DQ in the only other match of note. Ted Dibiase, Invader #1, and Jesse Barr took part in under card action. Morristown, New Jersey saw Wahoo and Whatley face off with the Road Warriors in the only notable match on the card. Barr, Hansen, and Colon were involved in the under card.

St. Louis/Central States
The Gagne/Bob Geigel St. Louis group presented a pair of events in June:

NWA champion Ric Flair facing Kerry Von Erich headlined the first show. The card also featured the Blackjacks clashing with Sheik Adnan and Crusher Blackwell, Wahoo brawled with Kamala, and Jim Duggan pinned Luke Graham, among other prelim action.

The second event saw Flair defend his title against Wahoo. The unusual team of Crusher Blackwell, Buddy Roberts and Michael Hayes beat Billy Robinson, Blackjack Lanza and Iceman Parson. (Did they pick names out of a hat?) Harley Race bested Curt Hennig, and Nick Bockwinkel pinned Steve O, along with other action.

The WWF’s crack at St. Louis included Hogan defending his WWF title against Mr. Wonderful, Dick Murdoch and Adrian Adonis besting Mil Mascaras and SD Jones, plus Andre, Bob Backlund, Mad Dog Vachon, Jesse Ventura, Don Muraco and others in action.

Some interesting random matches that Central States fans got at other house shows included King Kong Bundy and Wahoo facing the Road Warriors, Jimmy Garvin facing off with WCCW nemesis Chris Adams and Harley Race challenging the “Ugandan Giant” Kamala.

GCW
With the lawsuits with McMahon still being unsettled, Ole Anderson’s GCW is still alive, so he ran two events at the Omni:

The first event was headlined by NWA champ Ric Flair battling Stan Hansen. National champ Ted Dibiase continued to be hounded by Brad Armstrong, The Road Warriors battered Jimmy Valiant and Tim Horner, King Kong Bundy was upset by his former friend Jake the Snake, The Spoiler bested King Konga (The Barbarian), Ron Garvin clashed with Dick Slater, plus Tully Blanchard and Adrian Street took part in prelim action. Not a bad show considering the promotion is in turmoil.

Another chapter in the endless Ron Garvin vs. Jake the Snake feud headlined the second card. The Road Warriors and Zambuie Express brawled to a double-DQ, The Masked Superstar upended the Spoiler, JYD battered Nikolai Volkoff, Kamala collided with King Konga and Tim Horner bested Tommy Rogers.

The WWF and GCW battled for Baltimore with the WWF offering up Hogan facing off with David Schultz as a headliner, with Andre and Jimmy Snuka facing Adonis and Murdoch as the other top bout. GCW offered a solid counterpunch as NWA World Champ Ric Flair headlined against Ron Garvin. JYD and Brad Armstrong teamed to overcome the Spoiler and Ted Dibiase, Harley Race and Wahoo McDaniel battled to a draw, The Road Warriors bested Austin Idol and Jerry Lawler, Nikolai Volkoff battered King Kong Bundy, Ole Anderson got by Paul Ellering via DQ, and Jake the Snake pinned King Konga.

AWA
The WWF invasion has begun! Hulk Hogan led the charge by taking on his former AWA enemy David Schultz in a bloody main event at the Met Center that drew 11,000 fans. A battle royal won by Big John Studd was the second key match of the evening. The fans were also treated to matches with Tito Santana, Dick Murdoch, Adrian Adonis, Jesse Ventura, and Mad Dog Vachon, all of whom were familiar faces to AWA die hards. Mil Mascaras, Paul Orndorff and Rocky Johnson were also part of the event.

A week earlier in St. Paul the AWA drew 8,000 for a battle royal of their own, with Jerry Blackwell coming out on top and turning face in the process after being attacked by Sheik Adnan, Bruiser Brody and Abby the Butcher in the aftermath of the match.   The action earlier on in the evening including Abby and Blackwell teaming to beat Baron Von Raschke and Blackjack Lanza, the Crusher battling Nick Bockwinkel to a draw, Dusty Rhodes pinning Larry Zbyszko, plus Curt Hennig, The Fabulous Ones and Brody in action.

AWA tag champs Crusher and the Baron fended off challenges from such teams as Brody and Bockwinkel, Abby and Crusher Blackwell, and Abby and Adnan.

Bockwinkel continued his feud with Blackjack Lanza, with Blackjack Mulligan getting some cracks at him as well.

Larry Hennig came out of retirement to challenge Abby the Butcher.

Future star Al Snow took part in some TV squashes.

AWA World Champ Rick Martel vanished this month. The best answer I can find online is that he had a deal worked out to work for Dino Bravo in Canada, and then the dates fell through. The AWA sure could have used his help to try and boost some summer gates:

Indianapolis drew only 1,000 fans for a battle royal, plus the Blackjacks facing off with Blackwell and Adnan, and The Baron falling to Bockwinkel via DQ

Milwaukee drew less than 3,000 fans for The Crusher facing Blackwell, along with The Baron brawling with Abby the Butcher.

Winnipeg drew just over 2,500 fans for a war with Crusher and Baron clashing with Brody and Abby the Butcher

Chicago drew barely 2,000 fans (only weeks after drawing 10,000+) for a big six man between Crusher, Bruiser and Baron clashing with Brody, Abby and Sheik Adnan, plus Bockwinkel butted heads with Blackjack Lanza. Interestingly, the Fabulous Moolah also appeared despite her prominent angle on WWF TV.

Green Bay drew less than 1,900 fans to see Crusher face off with Sheik Adnan and Lanza brawl with Bockwinkel.

San Francisco flat lined as they only drew 750 fans to see Baron and Crusher knock heads with Brody and Bockwinkel. Mulligan and Abby brawled in the top under card bout.

AWA/Montreal
The WWF wasn’t going to stop trying to take Montreal over from Verne and company. This led to Hulk Hogan headlining this month’s event against veteran Rene Goulet. The under card wasn’t much better as Jesse Ventura, Big John Studd, Pat Patterson, Paul Orndorff and Ivan Putzki all faced lesser competition.

WCCW
NWA champ Ric Flair tried to give Mike Von Erich some credibility by losing to him via DQ.

The Freebirds vs. Von Erich feud carried on to some extent for yet another month. The Birds were also taking shots at Akbar’s army as well.

JYD came in for some shots against the Birds.

An intriguing tournament went down for the Texas title, with Kevin Von Erich being taken out in round one by fighting Killer Khan to a double-DQ. Kerry Von Erich defeated Gino Hernandez in the semi-finals, only for Gino to advance anyway due to Kerry being “injured”. The Cinderella story of the tournament revolved around Jules Strongbow as he advanced all the way to the semi-finals before being bested by NWA champ Ric Flair. This set up Hernandez upsetting Flair in the finals to win the title.

Memphis
Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett had to deal with the WWF invading for the first time. Despite using Hogan on top (vs. Moondog Rex of all people) the crowd in Memphis was less than a thousand people. A battle royal won by Studd was also on the card, along with Santana and Snuka partnering up to face Adonis and Murdoch, plus Andre, Mil Mascaras and Jesse the Body were also on the card.

The day after the WWF’s event, Memphis ran the same building and put on a special show called “Star Wars ‘84” which drew 11,000 fans for the Road Warriors facing off with Lawler and Austin Idol. The Rock and Roll Express came in from Mid-South to square off with Macho Man and Lanny Poffo, The Fabulous Ones returned from the AWA to face the PYTs, Jimmy Valiant came in from JCP to battle Rick Rude and Eddie Gilbert and Tommy Rich brawled with Phil Hickerson and the Memphis version of the Spoiler.

The WWF did better in Louisville, drawing 2,500 fans for Hogan vs. Rex and Studd winning another battle royal. Studd won yet another battle royal in Nashville at an event that drew 5,000 spectators.

The rest of the month saw Lawler trying to handle the monstrous Kamala and the equally intimidating Lord Humongous. Rick Rude even got a piece of the King and managed to beat him for the Southern title.

Austin Idol had a series of wild brawls with Jim Neidhart.

With the Fabs and Rock and Roll Express gone, Memphis tried to create a new pretty boy team called the “New Generation”. Their hype video is unintentionally hilarious:

Southeastern
NWA champ Ric Flair made defenses against Jimmy Golden and Bob Armstrong in the area.

Tonga Kid left the WWF and ended up having a run here.

Mid-South

JYD came back from his suspension and was awarded a match with Butch Reed under “Ghetto Street Fight” rules. That match headlined the latest Superdome event on June 16th and managed to draw almost 22,000 fans. Magnum TA faced off with Ted Dibiase over the North American title in another big match up from that event. The Rock and Roll Express and Midnight Express went at it in a “No DQ” match, Chris Adams and Stella Mae French clashed with Precious and Jimmy Garvin, Terry Taylor won the TV title from Krusher Khrushchev, plus a ladies tag match went down featuring Wendi Richter and others.

Richter was about to get a mega push in the WWF, so it’s funny to see her here as just part of the traveling women’s troupe.

Jay Youngblood came in for a brief run, getting involved with Mr. Wrestling II before he realized that II was now a bitter heel. This led to Youngblood challenging II instead.

Magnum TA had at it with Hercules, stemming from Hercules partnership with Mr. Wrestling II.

Jim Duggan continued his defense of America as he went after Khrushchev.

The Rock and Roll Express and Midnight Express went to battle frequently, as their issues remain unresolved. Heavy hitters like Hacksaw Duggan, Terry Taylor and Magnum TA also targeted the Midnights.

Florida
The WWF invaded Florida with Hogan vs. Studd, and Rocky Johnson vs. Roddy Piper in key bouts plus Pat Patterson, Mil Mascaras, Bob Backlund and Buzz Sawyer in action.

Ric Flair came into Florida for a series of title defenses against Dusty Rhodes, Barry Windham, Mike Rotondo and Billy Jack Haynes. This culminated in a big event at the end of the month called “Lords of the Ring” in Miami where Dusty Rhodes defeated Ric Flair in a special non-title challenge where the winner was dubbed “Lord of the Ring” and awarded $100,000. Other bouts included the Road Warriors clashing with Windham and Rotondo, Billy Jack Haynes besting Billy Graham in a “full nelson challenge”, Jerry Lawler beating the One Man Gang via DQ, Mike Graham out grappling Chavo Guerrero, Blackjack Mulligan battering Kevin Sullivan in a “Hangman’s Noose” match, JYD, Wahoo and the Boogie Woogie Man out shining Angelo Mosca, Black Bart and Ron Bass, plus Dick Slater and Hector Guerrero were in action. The event drew 10,000 fans.

The feud with Windham and Ron Bass raged on for another month. Kevin Sullivan also faced some of Windham’s wrath.

Dusty spent most of his time with the One Man Gang.

“Superstar” Billy Graham and Haynes tussled over the Florida title.

JYD came in to help Dusty and Mulligan face off with Bass, Bart and Gang.

JCP
The WWF invaded North Carolina, bringing in Sgt. Slaughter vs. the Iron Sheik, plus Snuka faced off with Greg Valentine. The next night in Norfolk saw Rocky Johnson battle Valentine and Snuka clash with Afa.

JCP held an event in Norfolk a few days later with NWA champ Ric Flair facing off with Ricky Steamboat, The Fabulous Freebirds battling Don Kernodle and Ivan Koloff, Wahoo going to war with Tully Blanchard, JYD and King Kong Bundy brawled with the Road Warriors, Harley Race bested Angelo Mosca Jr., plus Stan Hansen and others. That kind of line-up is how you repel an invasion!

NWA Champ Flair got into on TV with Tully Blanchard. Blanchard mocked Flair’s talking skills, so Flair made light of Tully’s penis size. This led to an interview soon after where Wahoo McDaniel turned heel as Wahoo complained about not getting shots at Flair. This drew out Flair, who was then jumped by Blanchard as McDaniel stood by and watched. McDaniel then praised Harley Race and Blanchard for being fighting champions. Prior to this Wahoo had been challenging Blanchard at house shows for the TV title.

Flair did stay busy in the area, defending his gold against Blanchard, Ricky Steamboat, Dick Slater, Harley Race and even McDaniel after the angle ran on TV.

NWA tag champs Don Kenodle and Ivan Koloff injured Jay Youngblood. This led to Youngblood putting on war paint and declaring himself “The Renegade”. Matches between the Youngbloods and the champions followed.

National tag champions the Road Warriors were also perusing Kernodle and Koloff. The Warriors had their own issues though as King Kong Bundy was still aiming for them, with JYD joining Bundy in the cause. The Fabulous Freebirds and the Warriors were paired off for an intriguing match up as well.

Mid-Atlantic champion The Masked Outlaw (Dory Funk Jr.) spent the month feuding with the Mosca family. Angelo Mosca Sr. and Funk got into a brawl on TV, meanwhile Mosca Jr. received a series of title matches, eventually snagging the title back from the veteran.

US champ Ricky Steamboat remained busy defending the title against Dick Slater, including in several stipulation matches. Near the end of the month Steamboat was facing Wahoo, when Blanchard ran in and tried to strike both men with a chair. Blanchard connected on Steamboat, but was unable to crack McDaniel. Wahoo took advantage of the situation and pinned the champ for the gold.

Jimmy Valiant and Adrian Street began the month embroiled in a feud. Street embarrassed Valiant by putting him in a dress. During another encounter, Paul Jones accidentally struck Street with his cane, causing him to lose. Street then turned on Jones and helped Valiant beat on the hapless manager. The Assassin and Kamala saved Jones. Jones later went on TV and yanked the hair of Street’s valet, Miss Linda. Kamala and the Assassin then pounced on Street before Valiant ran in to make the save.

Dusty Rhodes was making an appearance for Crockett and found himself assaulted by Kamala. This caused Rhodes to align himself with Valiant and others who wanted a piece of Paul Jones’ men.

Buzz Sawyer, fresh off his WWF firing, made an appearance in Toronto to team with Valiant and Mosca Sr. to challenge Kamala, the Assassin and Paul Jones.

Nikita Koloff made his debut by crushing several opponents in singles and tag team bouts on TV.

On top of all the other talent that is dipping their toes in the JCP water, Stan Hansen was also making some shots for Crockett. They really do have an impressive roster at this point, but lack a national outlet to use to slow down McMahon’s plans.

Next time we’ll head into July 1984! 

Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

Leave a Reply